Friday, May 28, 2010

Did ya know?

The average brat has 25 grams of fat.

Which gives me 25 reasons why they are so darn delicious. I love me some brats.

Mmm … juicy, greasy brats. And, throw in a beer, will ya? Heaven.

However, since I’ve started turning over a healthier leave, I have been desperately trying to get brats off my radar.

Now, you may ask, “What about chicken or turkey brats, Megan? Have you tried those?”

And my answer to that is: Not even close to the same thing and not worth my time. Growing up in Milwaukee, you get to know a good brat. Nothing substitutes the original.

But, avoiding brats and burgers and other delicious things with 3574385413 grams of fat at Brewers tailgating sessions has proven to be quite difficult for me. Everything smells so delicious, and with at least 15 more games I will be attending this season, I could be in some serious trouble.

I’m not saying I never want to eat another brat again in my whole stinkin’ life, because they would be the biggest darned lie in the world. I just want to consume them in moderation, instead of three and a half at every one of the 20 Brewers’ games I’ll be going to.

Tonight, we will be going to a game (It’s going to be beautiful tailgating weather.) and I think I have devised a plan.

Call me crazy, but I’m planning on bringing chicken smothered in BBQ sauce (ok, not smothered, smothered is just a much better adjective than ‘with a light coating of’), corn on the cob, and some left over asparagus from last night’s dinner.

I feel like a revolutionary. A game-changer. No one brings anything other than pork, beef, and fat to tailgate. I mean, we’re the team that actually has racing sausages. It’s for real. See:

I don’t know how these little chubsters can race at every game. They have like 99.9% body fat. (Sorry about the blurry pic, just wanted evidence of the racing sausages. P.S. That very same Brewer’s t-shirt no longer hugs my midsection. It’s actually quite baggie. Thank the Lord.) Also, please note that three of the five sausages are giving ‘thumbs up.’ Love it.

Back to the chicken.

I’m sure I will be made fun of. I’m sure I will be tortured. I’m sure I will be excommunicated and burned at the stake.

OK, maybe a little bit of an exaggeration.

Anyways, I cooked up the chicken, corn, and asparagus before hand, making it really easy to just bring it to the game and heat it up over the grill. And, I just know it will be delicious and my arteries will be very happy with me.

Your welcome arteries, don’t even mention it.

Maybe they’ll make a new racing sausage, except it will be a chicken breast. And, they’ll name it after me.

A girl can dream …

And if anyone makes fun of me, I’ll kick ‘em in the shin and tell them their brat has 25 grams of fat in it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Baby steps

Happy Tuesday! Three more days and then happy three-day weekend! Woo-hoo!

It's finally starting to feel like summer in the Midwest. It almost hit 90 yesterday. I love the heat.

Well, except for how ungodly hot it gets at the gym. Pretty sure I could've filled a milk gallon with my sweat yesterday.

TMI? Sorry.

One person who definitely does not like the heat is my poor Jax. Honestly, I can't blame him. He's got a fur coat on. I'm hot in a t-shirt and shorts. Can't even imagine a fur coat.

Which is why I'm really glad we ran him ragged over the weekend when it was not quite so warm. My brother and his girlfriend made it to Milwaukee, so I spent all day Saturday and Sunday at my parents' house hanging out with them.

My parents' next door neighbors have this adorable mutt, Fred. He is just as energetic as Jax, making them the perfect match.

The dogs played ...

... and played ...

... and played.

Seriously for hours. They were both tired, but they fought it all day. At one point, they looked like they had enough, so I brought Jax over into my parents yard. Covered in slobber, I figured he should air out a bit in the yard. I was expecting Jax to just pass out, but both dogs just stared at each other through the fence. It's hard to separate good friends. I ended up just throwing (yes, throwing, when your dog is only 35 pounds, it's much easier to simply toss him over the fence than walk around to the gate.) him back in the yard and the insanity ensued.

So, Jax got to spend a ton of time with Fred running around and playing and boy was he worn out yesterday. Could barely keep his eyes open during the day.

Weighed myself yesterday and am taking baby steps in the right direction, which I am happy with. Lost just over a pound from the previous week and I am ending at 137.6.

Now, this weekend I am going to work very hard at controlling myself. It's going to be tricky though. There will be tailgating Friday, out to dinner at this tapas restaurant I've been dying to try with Matt (followed by Sex and the City 2, yes the tickets have already been bought, no, Matt is not excited for that part), a graduation party on Sunday, and all day Monday to get into all kinds of trouble.

I think I've devised a plan to stay out of trouble for the tailgating. I'll tell you about it later this week. I'm not making any promises about the rest of the week though ...

Monday, May 24, 2010

I’m addicted to coke …

Diet coke, that is.

Ha, sucked you in.

When I first got a job, I definitely was not used to getting up at the crack of dawn every morning, let alone get up and expected to actually get work done.

So, I turned to coffee, lots and lots of coffee. So much, in fact, that I bled coffee.

But, the mass amounts of caffeine began to affect my sleep schedule, which makes you drink more coffee in the morning, making it even harder to sleep. It’s a negative, tortuous cycle.

I decided I needed to drastically reduce my coffee intake, which drastically increased the number of headaches I got everyday.

And, in my time of trouble, I turned to diet coke and coke zero to help with the caffeine withdrawals. Now, instead of coffee, I drink diet coke.

You’ll be able to tell when it starts to affect my sleep. My posts will be much crabbier. When you notice this, please tell me.

Nicely, or else I might bite your head off.

Then, I’ll have to actually try to wean myself off of caffeine.

P.S. Weigh-in tomorrow. My guess is maybe a pound. Been kind of a whatever week.

P.P.S. Whoever invented Coke Zero vanilla is my hero.

Nectar of the gods ...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oh, the guilt

Remember a few posts ago about how I told you a gorged myself on all kinds of food this weekend?


Well, it definitely took its toll on my weight. Yesterday, I weighed in at ....

You can’t hear me you say? I weighed in at ---.

Oh? Still can’t hear me?

138.8. Can you sense my guilt?

I definitely took a few steps back this week.

And, to be honest, I think weeks like this are needed in order to stay motivated with weight loss. Not to mention, a few days where you can indulge are definitely needed. If you go through months of crash dieting, it’s only going to increase cravings for the things you’re trying to avoid, making you want them more.

So, I’ve decided, after working hard on weight loss for a while, it is alright to indulge.

But then, after you do, you realize the negative effects it had on your ultimate goal and you become re-motivated, if you will.

I am officially re-motivated! Let’s do this!

Speaking of motivation, my brother and his girlfriend have officially motivated me this week to be more active and get outside.

As we speak, they are on a one-week bicycle trip from Minneapolis, MN to Milwaukee, WI.

I know, aren’t they amazing? I’m crazy proud of them. It inspires me to do something.

They’ve almost made it to Milwaukee and I’m sure their tired little legs will be very happy once they get here.

"What? You can't ride your bike from Minneapolis to Milwaukee? Piece of cake."


J/K. I heart them.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I am Rihanna

OK, not really. But I wanted to channel her with my new do.

If you’ve been following my blog religiously, which I’m sure all 76,763,673,423,234 of my daily readers have, you may have remembered my post about getting my hair cut last week.

And I’m sure all 76,763,673,423,234 of you have been waiting anxiously for the after pictures of my haircut.

I posted some pics on Monday from the Block Melanoma run I did over the weekend. If you noticed, my hair is shorter. But, it is also extra heinous in those pics. It was way early on a Sunday morning and I hadn’t even had a whole cup of coffee yet.

So here are some way better after pics. (Please excuse the whole do-it-yourself-in-the-mirror approach.)

Long story short ... I LOVE THE CUT!

It's so easy to style. I think it makes me look older and more mature. It's so easy to style. It's different and unique. Did I mention it's so easy to style?

Krystal did an awesome job listening to what I envisioned and then giving me an awesome haircut. Thanks again, girl! I love it.

And, in all honesty, I don't think this hair cut would've worked on me 30 pounds earlier. My cheeks were rounder, making it harder to pull of this edgier cut.

Maybe I should do an ab workout in the mornings now with all the time I used to spend blow drying my hair.

Who am I kidding? That extra time will be spent getting beauty sleep.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The good, the bad, and the ugly

This weekend was busy, and I mean crazy busy. I was going, going, going all weekend. I got a lot of things done and had a lot of fun, but missed out on a lot of sleep. And for, whatever reason, when I’m tired, I’m always hungry. So, on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best, my eating habits for the weekend were like a negative 1123978460312847019283470. Seriously … No bueno.

The good stuff, though, is that I worked out Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Sunday morning, I did a 5K run at the Milwaukee County Zoo. It was a benefit for melanoma research. My friend, Katie, somehow convinced me that a run at 8 am on a Sunday was a good idea. At 6:30 am on Sunday, I hated her.

Just kidding, Katie. I love ya!

Here's a shot of Katie and I before the run. Time stamp: way too early on a Sunday morning.

It turned out to be a ton of fun. It felt great to run, support a good cause, and we got to walk around the zoo afterwards.

On a side note: My boyfriend, Matt, has been hiding his running ability from me. Whenever we go to the gym, I always do the treadmill alone and he lifts weights while we’re there. But, he finished the 5K at an amazing time and ran the whole way. He’s been holding out on me. You better believe I’m going to make him run with me more. Get ready, Matt.

"I'm going to run so fast, this girl's not going to know what hit her." *thinks Matt*

I know this is the wrong thing to think after doing a run for melanoma, but my face needs some sun. Yikes.

Also, for whatever reason, I was thinking a 5K was 2.4 miles, but it’s not. It’s 3.1. I should know this. I ran cross-country in high school. Oh well. Major brain fart.

Anyway, I really started to book it at 2 miles, thinking I only had .4 to go and could stand to push it. So, I was really going fast, starting to get really tired, and thinking this was the longest .4 miles I’ve ever run. Then … I hit the 3 mile mark, and that’s when it hit me that I had longer to go than I thought.

Silly me. Helped my time though and sadly, now I can’t deny that I should pick my pace up at the gym. Without wanting to, I proved that I can and should be running faster. Ick…

Sunday night, we went to watch the Brewers lose to the Phillies. The Brewers were officially swept. It was bad. Now, go home Phillies. Get out of our fair city. You’ve embarrassed the Brewers in front of all their fans.

We tailgated before the game, and the ugly combination of being tired and having run a 3.1-mile race like I was running 2.4-miles race earlier in the day made me very hungry. And, everyone knows, tailgating food is not good food. So, ate my weight in cheeseburgers and brats.

It was ugly. So, today, not only am I just beat from the weekend, but also feel extremely lethargic from eating fat and grease. Lesson learned.

I’m going to wait until Wednesday to do my weekly weigh in. Give my body a few days to recover from the mistakes I made this weekend. Last week, I took two steps forward, but pretty sure this week I took one of those steps back.

The guilt has sunk in.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The grass is always greener

My hair and I are in a never-ending battle. To truly understand this battle, you’ll need to know a few things.

1. My hair is curly.

Here's Matt and I at a Brewer's game. Note the curly hair.

2. It's not always the same curly. Sort of wavy in the pic above. Below, very, very curly.

Get your curly knaps off me, says Jax.

3. It is thin. Thin enough that, when it's straightened, its limp and *blech.*

Love this pic, hate the hair. It was taken at my dad's birthday. That's my baby bro on the right. Some goofy girl with round cheeks on the left. Dad in the middle. Doesn't he look like a proud father? I love it.

Just kidding about the goofy girl on the left. Believe it or not, that's the current me (plus 20 lbs or so).

Anyways, I've always struggled with it. I enjoy it longer for a while, then I get bored with it and chop it all off. Once it's chopped off, I miss it longer and grow it out again. I enjoy it longer for a while ... you get the picture.

I'm at the point in that vicious cycle where I want to chop it all off. And, that's what I'm going to do. Tonite.

Since I've lost weight, I feel a lot more confident about pulling off a short, funky hair style. With the slimmer cheeks, I think I may really like a shorter cut. Plus, it's going to be 80 degrees and humid soon, and the curls get really hot and frizzy in the summer.

I have a good friend, Krystal, who is a hairdresser. So, I'm going to see her tonight. Pictures to follow. Unless I hate it. Then, there'll be no pictures of me on here for a long.

Just kidding, Krystal. I'm sure I'll love it.

I hope.

Just kidding, again, Krystal.

And, in case you were on the edge of your seat wondering if I went to the gym yesterday, I did. Went and got my run on. It felt good. I'll be there after work today, too.

Then off for the hair cut, nice and sweaty mop top for Krystal.

I'm her favorite client. Trust me.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In denial

I will go to the gym today. I will go to the gym today. I will go to the gym today!

Why is it so hard to always drag my butt to the gym? I try to get there at least four times a week, a rather lofty goal, I must say, considering my general lack of motivation.

But, the thing is, once I’m there and finished running for 30 minutes, lifting weights, and sweating like a mammoth in a tar pit, I feel great about myself.

I could reward myself with treats afterwards, but that kind of defeats the whole purpose of the gym.

Or, I could just suck it up and drag my butt over there.

I will go to the gym today…

Monday, May 10, 2010

License and registration, ma’am

Happy day after Mother’s Day! Before the weekend, I was afraid Saturday and Sunday were going to be full of indulging on copious amounts of food. Weekends always are a little intimidating to me as to what I’m going to eat and whether or not I’ll be able to keep up the healthy eating. Not only am I not in a routine, but, as a 23-year-old, I still like going out Friday and Saturday nights. So, it’s pretty easy for one beer to turn into 10, followed by a late-night calorie fest.

However, I think I managed to steer clear of most of the ridiculously, calorie-filled treats, except for a bottle of wine on Saturday night and a few pastries for Mother’s Day brunch, but it I balanced it out with fruit, vegetables, soy milk, and bran flakes. All-in-all, successful weekend.

Matt and I went up north to visit his family for Mother’s day. It was great to hang out with his mom, dad, sister, and her boyfriend. We played Taboo and Pit, made Mother’s day brunch, and everyone got to met Jax, minus his crusty eyes cause they’ve all cleared up. My puppy’s eyes are as good as new.

Remember a few posts ago how I said humane society websites are a dangerous thing? Well, while browsing this morning (I should just block the site from my computer. I won’t go get another dog, but I look and it makes my heart hurt. It’s self-inflicting pain. When will I learn my lesson?), I found Jax’s soul mate. Take a look, they totally look like they belong together, cut from the same cloth. They would make such a cute couple. (Cute kids are out of the question, considering they’ve both been spayed/neutered. Too bad.)

How can anyone resist those ears? So adorable.

Look at that ... So perfect for eachother. Go adopt her! Do it! And, when you do, shoot me an email and we'll set her and Jax up.

Anyway, had an official weigh-in yesterday. And, the number is, drum-roll please …


I lost 1.8 pounds, right where I would like my weekly weight loss number to be. I have a feeling this blog has sparked my motivation, at least for this week. We’ll have to see if I keep it up for a little while longer.

On another note, I almost weigh what my driver’s license claims I weigh. According to my ID, I weigh 135. My weight has read 135 for years on my license. And, since I just lost 30 pounds, it has probably been even longer since I actually weighed 135 pounds. Crazy, huh?

Just shows how weight gain can spiral out of control without any realization of it. Or, how easy it is to be in complete denial in order to let yourself finish that bowl of custard. Lesson learned: Buy a scale. Keep track. Let the guilt ensue.

Alright, off to the DMV. I need to get a new license. I can’t actually weigh what my license says I do. Pretty sure it’s against some girl code I read in some magazine.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Coffee cake and pink eye

I work with people who are out to fatten me up on a daily basis. I’m convinced this is a fact.

Donuts, muffins, cakes, and cookies are forever circulating our office. It is a pereptual battle of resistance and self-discipline.
I am a sucker for sweets.

To make matters even worse, the cabinet that poses as our buffet table sits literally right outside my office. Every time someone walks by and grabs a tasty treat, I am reminded that they are there. Then, I immediately have to tie myself to my chair to resist the urge to run out and scarf down 5 of whatever is out there. On especially bad days, I can smell the desserts too.

It’s torture. Absolute torture.

And, telling myself that I am going to have just one small piece is impossible. If I left myself have one, one turns into two, two turns into three, three turns in to twenty. In fact, I'm pretty sure my lovely coworkers lace all their baked goods with crack.

Today, right outside my office, sits chocolate chip coffee cake: light, fluffy, smothered in glaze, and topped with chocolate.

Be right back, have to clean the drool off my keyboard.

Today I shall not fall victim! Today I have a secret weapon!

My poor dog has doggie pink eye. Calling it doggie pink eye makes it sound cute and cuddly, but it is actually really gross. It has taken over his eyes. They are goopy and crusty and red and puffy and swollen. I mean, they are really flippin’ gross.

TMI? Sorry.

But, that my friends, is what I think of every time the idea of coffee cake crosses my mind. I think of crusty, goopy eyes. And, in a matter of seconds ladies and gentleman, my appetite has disappeared.

As far as my dog’s health is concerned, he’s off to the vet today. By Monday, I’ll need a new trick to get the dancing desserts out of my head.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

What am I doing here?

Check out my first blog post.

Taking extra steps

My boyfriend and I had contemplated getting a dog for years, literally years. We wanted one, but there was always some excuse or a gentle reminder from someone about how much work a dog is. I’ve wanted a dog for so long that one of my friends got me a dog Snuggie last year for my birthday. But, unfortunately dog-less, the Snuggie sat in my closet.

Until two weeks ago.

Our want for a dog finally out weighed all the excuses and we just did it.

On another note, humane society’s websites are a dangerous, dangerous thing. First, you start checking the available dog’s listed on the site once every few weeks. Then, once a week. Next, you’re checking it daily. Then, you zero in on one dog. You see that dog. You fall in love with that dog. You start to check the website hourly to see if that dog has found a happy home. He’s there for a few weeks and your heart begins to ache for that dog. You visit the humane society just to look at him. You love him, but sensibly go home. Check the website again. Still there. Go visit him again. Smack some sense into yourself and go home. Then, one really cruel day, they change the dog’s picture and he is now wearing an adorable bandana and looking at you with pleading eyes. You call your boyfriend. Tell him you’re leaving work early and the two of you are going to get that dog today.

And that, my friend, is the story of how Jax came into my life.

"Please, oh please, take me for a walk."

He’s an adorable 1.5-year-old Alaskan Husky mix (we think he’s got some Basenji in him too). The bundle of joy arrived at the Olson-McChain household on April 20, 2010, weighing 37 pounds 4 ounces.

And, I must tell you, I love him and am so happy we finally decided to get a dog. Not only is he loving, sweet, and playful, but he is also encouraging a more active lifestyle for myself.

Compound his puppy energy with his active breed, and this dog needs lots and lots of walks on a daily basis. I now wake up an hour earlier than I did before to walk him. The boyfriend takes him on long afternoon walks. And, at night, we try to run him either in a tennis court or get him over to a local dog park.

"Really? Is that all the running those little human legs of yours can do?"

Let me tell you, this dog can run. Seriously, for hours. He never tires. Or, at least he never gives into the temptation of being tired. But, stop him for a drink of water after he’s been running for a while, and he flops right over.

I know it sounds like a lot, looking at it makes me feel like it’s a lot. But really, it’s not. It’s actually a joy. I’ve gotten used to it being in my routine and have found myself much more active each and every day. After all, Jax doesn’t take days off.

Anyway, it’s been great having a dog so far and I’m sure I’ll have plenty of dog stories to share with you. We’ll have to keep an eye on how much this extra walking affects my weight loss. It can only help, I’m sure.

So, go to your local humane society, rescue a dog, and put on your walking shoes!

And, as far as the Snuggie goes, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is: Jax loves the Snuggie. The bad news, he’d rather chew it and rip it to shreds than wear it. Of course he has fashion sense, he is my dog after all.

"Absolutely not. That Snuggie totally makes me look fat."

What a snot.

The trouble with weight loss

Losing weight the healthy way is a long, slow process. I have dreams in which I wake up and have magically shed 20 pounds. Ahh … Wouldn’t it be nice?

But, that’s not how it works, and for good reason. First off, it’s unhealthy for your body. Your completely change the routine your body is used to and the rapid weight loss can affect your heart, puts you at a greater risk for an eating disorder, and has been linked to gall stones (who da thunk?).

Plus, you’re more likely to put everything right back on if you try to lose weight quickly.

I was very discouraged when I started losing weight. It doesn’t seem very monumental to be losing a pound here and there. So, I focused on setting small goals, for example, lose 2 pounds each week for a month. And, once that goal was met, you realize you’ve lost 8 pounds! It all adds up.

And, that is what I continue to do. My goal is to continue to drop 2 pounds a week until I’ve dropped those final ten.

Hypothetically, in 5 weeks, there could be no real reason for this blog anymore. Maybe I should go grab a cheeseburger for lunch so I can draw this thing out a little longer?

Speaking of cheeseburgers … White Castle just announced a burger-scented candle that they’ll be selling at all their locations. One word: gross.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Important Disclaimer

I'm still not sure if there's anyone out there reading this, but these are probably some important points. I am not:
  • a doctor
  • a nutritionist
  • a trainer
I am not educated at all in healthy eating, exercising, or weight loss for the population as a whole. I am just here to tell you tips that have worked for me, and hopefully they inspire you and you can incorporate them into your whole life some how.

Basically, just wanted to say I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Now, please, oh pretty please, keep reading.

Creature of habit

By nature, I am a person who thoroughly enjoys organization and routine. I hate being late and I like to have plans laid out well in advance. That’s just how I roll.

So, for me, getting into a healthy eating routine was probably the easiest thing for me out of the whole weight loss thing. If I sit down on Sunday, plan my meals for the week, and then go grocery shopping, I’ll generally stick to that plan.

When I was still in school, I ate whenever and whatever I felt like. There was no routine because everyday was different. A different schedule of classes in a different set of buildings at different times. Factor in the lack of sleep and stress, and it is clear how detrimental college life is to the average 20-year-old.

Only kidding. I just lack discipline.

Which is why I eat this for lunch everyday:

Again, only kidding. (That, by the way, is a delicious grilled cheese sandwich with lasagna, that’s right, lasagna from an excellent restaurant called Melt in Cleveland.) If I ate that for lunch every day, my weight would be moving in the opposite direction and I’d be shopping for new pants for all the wrong reasons.

Image: Michelle Meiklejohn /

Getting into a healthy eating routine, one that does not involve daily consumption of lasagna sandwiches, really does help. And, it also very much helps to change your lifestyle, which is the most important part to keeping weight off.

So, plan, plan, plan, and stick to it.

Also, I bring my lunch to work everyday. Yes, everyday. If it’s with me at work, the many drive-thrus surrounding my office are much less tempting. This was very, very helpful for me. Plus, I saved mucho dinero.

So, brown bag it to work!


Ok, so ... this is officially my second post. I highly doubt anyone has stumbled across this blog, yet. But, if there’s anybody out there, do you have a weight-loss story? Tell me about it!! I want to be motivated and inspired. I want to hear about the number of miles you’ve walked or the pounds of cookies you’ve turned down.

Tell me everything!!

Do it!!!



29.5 and counting

First. Blog. Post. Ever. I’ve finally crawled into the 21st century and decided to blog. Lord help everyone that reads this. A good friend of mine and I always joke around about starting a blog and then having it magically turn into a movie and/or book deal you, you know, Julie & Julia style. And, the first step in that direction would be to find something that makes me noteworthy and actually start a blog. So, here goes nothing.

I consider myself to be an average 23-year-old woman. I graduated from college last year, got a job, and have begun the process of officially establishing myself as an adult. After getting a job, I started doing the things normal adults do. Mainly, getting into a routine that didn’t involve going out to bars every night and sleeping in til noon the next day. I also bought a car, opened a 401K, and got proper insurance. (Just saying 401K makes me feel like an adult. But it’s all a show. I still really have no idea what a 401K is.)

I also decided to start taking better care of my body. First step, now that I was properly insured, was to go to the doctor for a physical. So, made the appointment, went to the appointment, and that appointment changed my life forever …

OK, maybe not forever, just changed it for right now. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Anyway, at the doctor’s appointment, I realized that what I gained through my college experience, along with a degree and life lessons, was weight. Lots and lots of weight. And, not only was it affecting the number of pounds on my body, but also my blood pressure and cholesterol.

Holy wake-up call! I’m 23! Am I really going to put myself on the ultimate path to diabetes and heart disease already?

And, that’s when I decided, absolutely not!!!! Something was going to change and it was going to change now.

Something I would like to add: Up until that doctor’s appointment, I never considered myself fat. I am blessed with the best of friends, a loving boyfriend, and a supporting family who help boost my confidence everyday. Damn them …

But seriously, I never considered myself fat. I was happy with my body and my appearance. However, something I was not happy with was heart disease and diabetes, so something had to change.

My doctor suggested a certain program, a very popular one which I’m sure you’ve heard of, in which you attend meetings and keep track of your food by tallying it. I was pretty unsure about it. OK, maybe just too prideful, to attend the meetings. Weight loss was a much more private thing to me and I wasn’t ready to share that experience with everyone.

But, now, here I am, blogging about it. The irony.

Anyway, I decided to enroll in the program online. And, so I did. I did not have, and still don’t have, an ultimate goal in mind, such as running a marathon or fitting into a size 2. I just wanted to be healthy.

I would like to stress that. I felt that I was already beautiful, as I think everyone should. Weight is nothing but a number and no one should ever consider themselves unattractive because of their weight. I was concerned with being healthy. You know, living a long, fulfilling life and enjoying every minute of it. So, I think that, if you decide to lose weight, it should never be because you want to look like a swimsuit model. It should be because you want to be healthy and feel good about yourself. The prettiest women stand tall, with their heads held high and a smile on their face.

And, so it began.

And, three months later, I am happy to say, that I have lost 29.5 pounds. The program worked amazing for me and I would recommend it to anyone, whether you want to lose 5 pounds or 500. I have about 10-15 more I would like to lose.

…This is where the blog comes in. Everyone says those final ten pounds are the hardest to lose. I need to stay motivated and inspired. And this is how I’m going to do those, by having millions, yes millions, of people read my blog and see the movie that this blog will eventually become.

I want to tell you about my daily struggles. What works for me and what doesn’t. I also want you to chastise me when I decide to eat a hundred cookies and a tub of ice cream, after polishing off a pizza with a pitcher of the darkest beer the Germans have to offer.

Also, I feel like there’s something I have to divulge in order to be completely honest with everyone. That is my weight.

I now officially weigh 138.6 pounds. (Add 29.5 to that and you’ll see where I started. I still can’t admit I ever weighed that much, so I refuse to write that number.)

And so the countdown begins …

Here are a few before and, not really after cause I’m not done yet, we’ll call them middle pictures.

Here's an excellent before. Look at those chubby, chubby cheeks ...

This is a particularly rough picture. It was warm, I was sweaty. It's just all bad.

This was taken last summer at a good friend's wedding. (I'm on the short one on the far right.) We all looked beautiful. It was a wonderful day full of wine and dancing. Doesn't get much better than that. I like this before picture because I remember how much I loved my look from that day, and I still do. I loved my dress, my hair, and my makeup.

And, here's an excellent middle snapshot. It was taken at the Milwaukee Brewers' opening day game. (I love the Brewers and baseball. It's my favorite sign of summer. I'll write more on it later.) Note the much smaller cheeks.

I'll get more middle shots up soon!